Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Put your stuff down so I can change you

Put your stuff down so I can change you.

This is what I told to my toddler. He’s always got something he’s carrying around. This week it’s either his cars or a couple of flashlights. Or both. From the moment he wakes up, pretty much until we put him to bed at night, he’s got something in his hands.

This morning was no different. Before breakfast, when I was changing his diaper and preparing to get him dressed, he’d found some treasures to hold.

When it came time for me to change his shirt, however, the items were too big to fit through the arm-holes, and this is what I said,
“Put your stuff down so I can change you.”

And it stopped me cold.

Yesterday at our church, we started the Bible study Breaking Free by Beth Moore. I haven’t even tapped into the homework yet, but I know it’s going to be a life-changer. I have also been going through So Long, Insecurity, also by Beth Moore, and it is already changing my life, and changing how I look at things.

Put your stuff down…

Don’t we all have our ‘stuff’? Our treasures, yes. Our hurts too? Most certainly. And we’ve been called to lay it down. Just let go of it.

Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” NKJV emphasis mine

Repeat after me:
“It’s not worth it!”

If it’s going to keep us from being changed, it’s not worth it. If it’s going to keep us from growing in Christ, it’s not worth it. If it’s going to keep us from living abundant life, the life that He gave His very life to ensure that we could live, it’s not worth it!

Put your stuff down so I can change you.

Ephesians 4:22-24 “22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”

The parallel deepened for me, as I pulled his little chubby arms through the sleeves, and gave him a clean shirt to wear. Clean. New. And it was even the one with the firecrackers on it; the one I bought for him because it was representative of his surprise (quite early!) July birth. “Little Firecracker” it says on the front. And he wears it today.
What are we wearing today? No, I don’t mean which cute shirt are you wearing, or whether you’re in slacks or sweatpants. I mean what is the image – whose image – are we representing?

Are we wearing our hurts?
I am abused.
I am neglected.
I am forgotten.
I am not good enough.
I am ______________?

Or are we wearing Christ?
We are not only called to put off our old self, but also to put on our new nature. Live as one created in righteousness and truth.

Friends, let’s be changed. And let’s let God do the changing.

Put your stuff down so I can change you.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


I'm not gonna lie. Life is hard. SO hard. But I'm remembering to be thankful. I'm remembering to savor. Because even if life is hard, it is my life. My only life. These day-to-days even when I accomplish nothing other than keeping my little boys alive and fed, these are my life. We're in the thick of it. We're smack in the middle (and at the beginning, depending on perspective) of doing the thing, and we get one shot at it.

I'm extraordinarily hard on myself. I am realizing more and more how many people are hard on themselves and I am no exception. I didn't really think of myself as a perfectionist, but perhaps there is a bit of that in me. It could just be plain ol' insecurity. It could be a lot of things. (By the way, I'm going through Beth Moore's So Long Insecurity with four precious daughters of God, and it is like a fresh glass of iced tea in July. Every person on the planet could benefit from that book and I strongly recommend you get a copy!)

But I'm easing up a bit.

I am a week behind on my scripture memory. Or a year plus a week, depending how you look at it. I started the Romans Project last year and drifted away from the habit around the end of July or August. Life happens, and I allowed it to get in the way. So I started back with it this year in the middle of July, and am behind.
I was beating myself up about this. This and a host of other 'started but unfinished' projects... like the laundry for example.

But there is grace. God offers grace abundant, and we've only but to receive it.

And I am behind on my scripture memory, but, God graciously reminded me, at least I'm doing it. God's precious words, while maybe not in the quantity or at the pace I would have liked, are still being trained into my heart. Little is better than none at all; praise Jesus.

We took a walk yesterday. The dinner dishes weren't washed. My son may have still had a bit of pizza sauce on his face.
But we laughed together.

My hair is graying and I'm not even 30.
But I have hair.

My best girlfriend is states away.
But I have a precious friend.

The sink is full of dishes and the diapers need washed.
But I have a family to clean up after.

My back aches and my arms and neck are sore.
But these are all likely from caring for and carrying my kids.

These are hard eucharisteo and gifts only from God.
Every good and perfect gift comes from God. Our father.
I have a Father.
I have gifts from that Good Father.
I am thankful.

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